Tahiti statute amendment challenged

11:07 am on 12 April 2019

There is new opposition to the amended autonomy statute for French Polynesia which is to be debated in the French Assembly overnight.

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Photo: 123RF

A member of the Social, Economic and Cultural Council, which is an advisory body in Tahiti, has written to the French prime minister challenging the wording of French Polynesia's role in France developing its nuclear deterrent.

Christian Vernaudon said it was inappropriate to state that French Polynesia contributed to the French plan to become a nuclear power.

He said France was forced out of Algeria and without ever asking for consent, Paris decided to impose the further testing of its weapons onto the Pacific.

Mr Vernaudon said the revised autonomy statute, which has already been approved by the French Senate, should instead state that France is fully responsible for the aftermath of the tests.

This means, he said, that France should undertake to repair all the damage the tests have caused without invoking clauses allowing it to challenges this in the courts.

Two months ago, the French Polynesian president Edouard Fritch said the main point of the revised statute was to calm domestic and international opinion about the weapons test legacy.

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